ICBC calls for changes to bad driving habits

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Apr 04, 2007 – Every day a least one person dies as a result of a motor vehicle crash on B.C. roads. And every day more than 215 people are injured – many of these injuries are life-changing. This means since January, 98 people have died in car crashes in B.C. and 18,345 people have been injured, according to the five year average (2002 – 2006).

“Almost 100 individuals have died so far this year on our roads,” said John Les, minister responsible for ICBC. “That’s simply unacceptable. As we head into the Easter long weekend we should all keep in mind that the chances of being involved in a crash are highest on Friday and the weekends. We all need to do our part to make our roads safer.”

Over the past five years (2002 – 2006), there has been an average of 2,063 crashes on B.C. roads over the four days of the Easter long weekend, resulting in an average of 647 injuries and 5 fatalities.

“Every day of the year, police across the province are targeting dangerous driving. Expect to see police out in full force this Easter long weekend,” said Inspector Norm Gaumont, “E” Division Traffic Services. “Motorists who speed, drink and drive, or refuse to wear their seatbelts will be ticketed. They are endangering the lives of all British Columbians,” said Gaumont.

There is a strong link between certain types of driving behaviour and crashes. High-risk driving includes excessive speed, following too close, failing to yield, improper passing, and running red lights and stop signs. These behaviours caused 45 per cent of automobile-related deaths in 2005.

“ICBC is committed to making roads safer to reduce crashes and save lives. Fewer crashes and less severe crashes also help to keep rates low and stable. Bad driving affects everyone’s insurance rates. Motorists need to use their RoadSense,” said Paul Taylor, president and CEO of ICBC.

Tips to keep in mind while you drive:

  • Plan ahead and be realistic about travel times. Allow extra time for possible delays that may occur due to increased traffic volume over the long weekend.
  • Make staying focused on the road a priority when travelling and keep distractions to a minimum. Pull over to eat or drink, plan your route before you leave, and dial before you drive.
  • Warmer weather throughout the province can encourage motorcyclists and bicyclists to get out on the road. Remember to use extra caution, share the road, and keep a look out for these other road users.
  • Set an example to your children and other drivers by practicing courtesy on the road.
  • Drivers and passengers need to remember to wear their seatbelts at all times.

For more road safety tips, visit http://www.icbc.com.